Jab-o-meter Take your shot September 22 64,98,274 doses September 23 65,26,432 doses Total doses: 84,08,21,190 NATIONWIDE sep 22 sep 23 Fresh cases 26,964 31,923 Recoveries Deaths 34,167 31,990 383 282 tamil nadu sep 22 sep 23 Fresh cases jabs at home for people with restricted mobility, disability The Centre announced the decision on a day it said 66% of the country’s adult population has been given at least one dose suicide victims’ kin entitled to ex-gratia ■ 1,627 21 1,624 27 23% uk has no issues with Cowin, too The Centre also informed the Supreme Court that the family members of people who die by suicide within 30 days of testing Covid positive are also entitled to compensation from the State Disaster Relief Fund. Earlier, the ex-gratia of `50,000 was limited to Covid deaths, which were defined as death in hospital or elsewhere within 30 days of contracting the infection 1,745 Recoveries Deaths chennai l friday l september 24, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 32 l late city EDITION 1,682 ■ A day after indicating that CoWIN app is the sticking point in certification of Indian vaccination to avoid quarantine, the UK shifted its position, saying the app was not a problem No concerns on certification were raised in Thursday’s talks, UK High Commissioner said. Yet, the issue is to be fully resolved | P9 Of indian adult population has received both the doses CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Man stabs ex to death in public at Tambaram S a h aya N o v i n s t o n L o b o @ Chennai Prime Minister Narendra Modi being greeted by members of Indian Diaspora upon his arrival in Washington DC on Thursday | Press Information Bureau Modi woos business czars in the US Seeks fresh US investments in India; deals on military drones, 5G and solar power expected E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hit the ground running, holding backto-back meetings with the top executives of five leading US companies from diverse sectors. Among the CEOs who met Modi in Washington DC the first day of his four-day US visit were Indian-Americans Shantanu Narayen, chairman of software major Adobe, and Vivek Lall, CEO of military drone manufacturer General Atomics. The others included Cristiano Amon of Qualcomm, a leader in 5G solutions; Mark Widmar, CEO of solar panel maker First Solar; and Stephen Schwarzman of global invest- ment firm Blackstone. During the one-on-one meetings with the business leaders, Modi highlighted the unique opportunities India could offer to them, sources said. Modi’s first interaction was with Qualcomm’s Amon and the discussion was on how 5G technology could be accelerated. “We talked about an incredible opportunity to advance the industry not only domestically in India but India as an export of technology,” Amon later said. According to the PMO, the Qualcomm CEO “expressed keenness to work with India in areas such as 5G and other @ DigitalIndia efforts”. Sources said Qualcomm wants to work with India on semi-conductors, 5G and the Prime Minister WiFi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme. Talks with Adobe’s Narayen revolved around the firm’s future investment plans in India. “Ideas to leverage Digital India flagship programme in sectors like health, education and R&D were also discussed,” said the Ministry of External Affairs. Blackstone to invest $40 billion in India over 5 yrs India is Blackstone’s best market in the world, said the firm’s CEO Stephen Schwarzman. He said Blackstone has already invested $60 billion in assets in India and will pump in another $40 billion over the next five years India’s solar energy potential was the focus of Modi’s meeting with First Solar’s Widmar. “Discussions took place about First Solar’s interest in setting up manufacturing facilities in India using their unique thinfilm technology MEA said. ,” Modi’s meeting with Lall of General Atomics, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of military drones, came amid New Delhi’s plan to boost its defence arsenal. The two spoke about advancing defence manufacturing, use of emerging technologies and augmenting capacity building in India. Apple CEO Tim Cook was conspicuous by his absence. He was reportedly scheduled to meet Modi on Thursday . A 20-year-old woman was stabbed to death in broad daylight near Tambaram railway station on Thursday, allegedly by a man with whom she had ended a three-year relationship. Police said the assailant subsequently attempted to kill himself but was stopped by members of the public. The deceased was identified as M Swetha from Chromepet, a second-year student of Medical Laboratory Technology at the Madras Christian College’s School of Continuing Education. The assailant, identified as Ramachandran, a native of Tirukkuvalai in Nagapattinam district, has been admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital after injuring himself, police said. He worked at a private manufacturing unit at Maraimalai Nagar in the city outskirts. Inquiry revealed Swetha had ended the relationship, said a senior police official. “The man had called her to speak about it,” he said. Ramachandran asked Swetha to meet at the spot after her class ended. They met near the railway station and walked to the railway quarters nearby Police, quoting eye. Horror Recap Mar 2021: 19-year-old girl attacked by her school teacher-turned-stalker in Chidambaram June 2019: Stalker attacks 26-year-old woman with knife in public at Chetpet railway station in Chennai, then jumps in front of a train Mar 2018: Man slits 19-year-old girl's throat in broad daylight near her college in Chennai, attempts suicide Nov 2017: 21-year-old IT engineer burnt alive at her home in Adambakkam by her former classmate after she reportedly rejected his marriage proposal June 2016: 24-year-old IT professional hacked to death at Nungambakkam railway station in broad daylight; attacker kills self later in prison witnesses, said Ramachandran had a heated conversation with the woman and, after a while, pulled out a kitchen knife he had hidden and stabbed Swetha in the throat. As passers-by raised an alarm, Ramachandran cut his own throat. “While it inflicted damage on his neck, the public nabbed the man and informed us,” said an officer. The ambulance crew that arrived declared Swetha dead while Ramachandran was rushed to the hospital. The Selaiyur police have registered a case and further probe is on. express read aatmanirbhar bharat out of Rti ambit proxy war The Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Thursday placed an order for supply of 118 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) Arjun Mk-1A for the Indian Army worth `7,523 crore. This was the first bulk order in several years for the Chennai-based Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi. MBT Mk-1A was designed and developed by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), also located in Avadi, along with other laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary of Department of Defence (R&D) and Chairman of DRDO, told TNIE, “It’s a major boost to Aatmanirbhar Bharat and will make industries flourish.” | P7 New Delhi: Stating that the PM-CARES Fund was not a government fund, the Centre on Thursday told the Delhi High Court the donations received by the fund did not go to the Consolidated Fund of India. Refusing to share third-party information, the government said it functioned with transparency and the funds were audited by an auditor — a chartered accountant drawn from the panel prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. The government was opposing a petitioner’s plea seeking a direction to declare the PMCARES Fund a ‘State’ under the Constitution and a ‘public authority’ under the RTI Act. Further hearing was fixed for September 27 | p9 New Delhi: Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir were put on high alert based on intelligence reports of terror groups planning a ‘spectacular’ attack in the Union Territory to coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with the US President Joe Biden. Sources said terror groups were planning a fidayeen (suicide) attack on a senior police officer or a government installation. Modi reached Washington on Thursday for a three-day visit. “Pak-based terror groups are trying to learn newer techniques to attack our forces from terrorists based abroad,” a senior security official said, referring to the nexus between groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Taliban | P10 Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi to produce 118 battle tanks for Army PM-CARES is not government fund, Centre tells Delhi High Court DVAC books TNPCB chief on graft charges The statement alleged the official, conferred with the Indian Forest Service (IFS) title in 1994, In a major crackdown, the Di- was involved in criminal misrectorate of Vigilance and Anti- conduct and misappropriation Corruption (DVAC) on Thurs- while holding the posts of memday booked AV Venkatachalam, ber secretary, TNPCB (October chairman of the Tamil Nadu 14, 2013 to July 29, 2014), memPo l l u t i o n C o n t ro l B o a rd ber secretary, State Environ(TNPCB), on charges of “crimi- ment Impact Assessment Aunal misconduct” and “criminal thority (2017-18) and, after misappropriation”. retirement, chairVenkatachalam is man of TNPCB (since Allegations scheduled to retire September 27, 2019). Sources said from the post on SepHe was booked under Venkatachalam tember 27. sections of The Prewas accused of The agency also vention of Corruplaunched a search at “seeking monetary tion Act, 1988. benefits” for five places, including According to the the TNPCB office at issuing ‘Consent to First Information ReEstablish’ and Guindy in Chennai, port (FIR), the official ‘Consent to and Venkatachalam’s had abused his posiOperate’ residences in Chention by colluding with documents nai and Salem. Net other officials in comcash of `13.5 lakh, mitting the crimes, gold jewellery weighing 6.5 kg thereby causing loss to the gov(worth `2.5 crore), and docu- ernment and also a “proporments relevant to the case were tionate undue enrichment to identified, said the agency, add- himself ”. The DVAC said it has ing that these would be seized. requested forest officials to take “Around 10kg of sandalwood ar- necessary action and added the ticles and pieces were identified search will continue. Sources at his residence,” a DVAC state- said several complaints were ment said. The raid at his Sa- lodged by applicants seeking lem house lasted for over six permission to establish and ophours. erate entities. continued on: p3 Continuing our series on TN’s rivers ahead of World Rivers Day, we pan to the Adyar and Cooum in Chennai | P4 SC to set up technical experts’ panel on Pegasus Express News Service @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Thursday said it is planning to set up a committee of experts to look into allegations of unauthorised surveillance using Pegasus software, adding a formal order will be issued by next week. The information assumes significance since the Centre had earlier offered to set up a panel on its own to look into allegations of snooping on civil society. Chief Justice N V Ramana said the matter was taking time because some experts it wanted to induct had declined citing personal difficulties. “We will be able to finalise the members of by next week and pronounce our orders.” The remarks came when he was hearing some other case in which senior advocate C U Singh, one of the petitioner’s lawyers in the Pegasus case, was appearing. The top court had on September 13 reserved its order, saying it only wanted to know whether or not the Centre illegally used Pegasus to snoop on journalists, activists and politicians. The Centre had stoutly refused to file an detailed affidavit citing national security . The Congress appreciated the SC’s initiative to set up a probe panel, saying it is a step in the right direction. “The Pegasus spy scandal is... an assault on national security and privacy The solution is simple ... — A SC-monitored full investigation. SC observation of setting up a technical committee is a right step in this direction,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted. WITH THIS ISSUE CHENNAI’S BEST WEEKEND GUIDE 32 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF INDULGE (TABLOID) BJP warming up to Amarinder Singh H a r p r e e t B a j w a @ Chandigarh CP B a l a s u b r a m a n ya m & SV K r i s hn a Ch a i ta n ya @ Chennai choked by capital city Alert in J&K on major terror strike to coincide with Modi-Biden meet snoopgate seer death probe Police bringing Sundeep Tiwari (centre), accused of abetting the suicide of Mahant Narendra Giri, to the district court in Prayagraj on Thursday. Sundeep is the son of co-accused Adya Tiwari, the priest of Bade Hanuman Temple in the city | PTI A day after former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh chided the Gandhi siblings, Rahul and Priyanaka, for unseating him, the BJP seemed to be cosying up to the veteran Congress leader. With the political pot in pollbound Punjab already boiling following his high-pitched spat with state Congress unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu, the BJP’s overture has added a new dimension to it. They have not only gone soft on him but are spinning him as a nationalist icon. Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Thursday sought to slam Sidhu, saying Amarinder was axed as he was a hurdle in installing pro-Pakistan forces in power in Punjab. The BJP, which had gone on the backfoot in the state after the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) broke its two-decade old alliance with it last year citing the controversial farm sector reform laws, is now tempting Amarinder to jump ship so that the saffron party become a significant player in the state polls. As for Amarinder, he is keeping his options open. The BJP wants to fight on all 117 seats in the state this time around. At present, it has only two MLAs in the Assembly In the last As. sembly elections, the BJP contested only 23 seats, as it was in alliance with SAD. Po l i t i c a l a n a l y s t P r o f Ashutosh of Panjab University said, “Amarinder has two op- tions. Either he floats his own regional party like others did or join the BJP The kind of po. litical language he is speaking and idioms he is using of late are in consonance with the BJP line on national security and Pakistan bashing.’’ Amarinder, even after demitting office, is clearly no pushover. With him holding his cards close to the chest, nothing can be definitively said as yet. To draw him, the BJP has to find a workaround for the three farm laws and also introduce a law guaranteeing minimum support prices for crops. The other option for Amarinder is to launch his own regional party with the tacit support of the BJP . Continued on: P8 more roads under nhai control Six new toll gates to come up soon on highways in TN B A N B USE LVA N @ Chennai In a couple of months, motorists will have to shell out more to travel on National Highways (NH) in Tamil Nadu with six new toll gates coming up soon. As the State hands over four highway stretches, running for 312 km, to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for it to maintain, the number of toll gates in Tamil Nadu will rise from 48 to 54. Two toll gates each will come up on the Vellore-Tiruvannamalai-Villupuram stretch (121 km) of NH 234 and Cuddalore-Virudhachalam-Salem section (92 km) of NH 532. Similarly, the Avin a s h i - Av i n a s h i Palayam section (33 km) of NH 381, and Perambalur-Thanjavur section (66 km) of NH 226E will have one new gate each. The roads, which were so far under the maintenance of the State Highways wing, have been developed into two and four lanes using funds from the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. “All the administrative procedures have been completed to hand over the roads to NHAI. The Union government has passed a gazette notification for toll collection at new gates on NH 226E. Upon completing the pending road works, the gates will commence collection,” said an official from the highways department. The Union government, however, has not responded to the demand for closure of five toll Over 1,800 km taken over Until 2017, as much as 3,285 km of the total 5,324 km of NH passing through TN was maintained by the NHAI. However, as of August 2021, it has risen to about 5,134 km gates on Chennai-Tiruchy, Chennai-Bengaluru, and Chennai bypass, the official added. Official data accessed by TNIE revealed that over 1,800 km of roads in Tamil Nadu have been brought under NHAI’s maintenance in the last four years and have been converted into tolled roads. This, even as there has been an expansion in the road network, boosting industrial and real estate growth in the State. continued on: p5
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